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Bobby Seagull at Greenwich Maths Time

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University Challenge legend Bobby Seagull joins the enigma code machine and 1,600 secondary school pupils at Greenwich Maths Time next week.

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The University of Greenwich event also includes sessions on the maths behind juggling and maths in fashion, featuring one of singer Ellie Goulding's favourite designers. It takes place at the university on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 June.

Bobby Seagull hit the headlines along with rival competitor Eric Monkman on the long-running TV quiz, with the pair going on to present a series of programmes for the BBC.

"Maths is practical and beautiful but people can find it difficult," says Bobby. "In English you can come up with something if you're struggling but you can't in maths. In school if you do that you get lots of red pen on your work and it can be demoralising.

"I'll be getting everyone involved and starting off with a maths rap, to a Drake backing track. Coming to these events is great because it's a chance to bring maths to more people. They might see this and go and tell their friends about what we did - the multiplier effect."

Takita Bartlett will be hosting a session on the maths of fashion. Former Greenwich maths student Takita went on to the London College of Fashion before combining her two passions to create maths-inspired jewellery. She counts Ellie Goulding as one of her regular customers.

Takita says: "I'll be discussing the maths behind my designs and setting little tests to see if people can spot the sequences I've used in, say, a series of beads.

"There's always a pause when at that point when people are thinking, what? Then they start to get it and things move. It's about showing how essential maths is and how it's everywhere."

The event is part of the Festival of Mathematics and its Applications 2019 – IMA.

  • Other events on the day include:
  • James Grime on code breaking, using a Second World War Enigma machine.
  • Ioanna Georgiou on the peculiar deaths of famous mathematicians
  • Jonathan Histed on flying pigs and boomerangs
  • Cath Moore on Fake News
  • Walking on custard with Tim Reis to experience the mathematics of non-Newtonian fluids

The event is open to the public but some sessions need to be booked. More here: https://sites.google.com/view/imafest19/home

The Festival is supported by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, The OR Society, the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme, FDM and the University of Greenwich.